The first thermonuclear explosion ever to occur on the earth, Ivy Mike,was detonated by the US Military on Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands on 1st November 1952. The device itself weighed 60 tons and was housed in a six-storey structure containing the massive cooling apparatus needed to produce a temperature of minus 250 degrees Centigrade whereby the deuterium used to fuel the bomb could be liquified.
Sixteen months later, the explosion of Castle Bravo on Bikini atoll marked the beginning of a second series of thermonuclear tests staged with the express purpose of creating a much smaller "deliverable" thermonuclear weapon in the megaton range.
Promethean Hubris offers an account of the events surrounding these tests, and describes the human and environmental consequences of such tests from the perspective of the inhabitants of the Marshall Islands. Special attention is given to the effects of Castle Bravo, the first of six thermonuclear tests that were conducted as part of Operation Castle between 1st March and 22nd April 1954.
The voices heard in this program include J. Robert Oppenheimer, Holly Barker, Tony de Brum, Stephen Osborn, Martini Gotje and Vincent Di Stefano.
The music heard in this program includes that of A. Coe, Alexander Sitnikov, Steve Kahn and Rob Mounsey, Dead Can Dance, Doc & Lena Selyanina, and Archie Roach. On the Ruin of Rongelap, a substantive essay contextualising much of the information presented in Promethean Hubris along with more detailed production notes can be accessed here.
The essay can also be downloaded in PDF form from the DOWNLOAD OPTIONS column opposite.